They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But sometimes you have to question whether the beholder is blind!
Has anyone seen the new BMW X7 and 7 Series? The X7 looks like it was separated at birth from a gopher, and the facelifted 7 looks it got one Botox shot too many. Actually, it appears to have gone toe-to-toe with a Mercedes-Benz S Class and come away considerably worse for wear.
Who would have thought that the day would come when we would be wishing for the return of Chris Bangle – famous for the controversial ‘Bangle Butt.’ Whatever happened to straight lines and good proportions. You only have to look at the 2nd and 3rd generation 7 Series – the E32 and E38 – to witness a masterclass in this design philosophy.
While we’re on the subject of design and the BMW Group, we can’t not address the elephant in the room – the Rolls Royce Cullinan. Whereas the Phantom, Silver Wraith, Silver Dawn and Silver Shadow have been the very definition of class, restraint and taste in their various avatars over the decades, the Cullinan appears to have traded in restraint for self-indulgence. Let’s just say that it appears to be trying a little too hard.
But these ills aren’t only the preserve of the BMW Group. The Bentley Bentayga has looks that only a mother could love. W. O. Bentley must have turned in his grave when the design of the Bentayga was approved by the VW Group.
But it appears that I’m on the wrong side of this debate because the proof of the pudding is in the eating – and the Middle East and China consume these machines as if they’re candy floss at a carnival. They just can’t seem to get enough!
Designs, across the board, appear to be getting brasher and in-your-face – the brasher the better appears to be the ethos at present. But there are a few bright spots as well. Volvo’s contemporary designs appear to pay homage to their heritage while looking cutting edge, modern and sophisticated at the same time. And, closer to home, Pratap Bose and his team at Tata Motors are doing a phenomenal job with their new designs. In fact, the Harrier is the first example in a long time of a truly original design. Well done, Pratap.
But if you plan to export the Harrier to the Middle East or China, please create a special design for those markets and don’t subject the rest of us to swollen nostrils or butterfly net grilles.